10. Staff meetings are too pleasant. An early warning signal of wavering passion and possible discomfort. Meetings should be a time of dissent and discussion – yes-men won’t push the company forward.
9. The company parking lot is empty on weekends. Are your employees committed to the company’s success or simply punching the clock? They may need a boost of confidence in the product or the team.
8..You view strategic consultants as a way to solve problems. Nothing brings a group of people together like solving a problem. Make sure your issues can’t be solved internally before bringing in outsiders to clean up the mess.
7. You’re being filtered from daily issues and customer contact. A sure sign that you’re too far removed from the real happenings of the company – or perhaps that you’re an embarrassment.
6. Eighty percent of your customer surveys come back marked “No forwarding address.” Close contact with your customers is more important than ever. Make it a priority.
5. You’re consuming antacid tablets by the handful. Delegation is the key to sharing ownership in the progress of the company and to maintaining your health as an executive. Learn to let go.
4. You have more lawyers in your company than salespeople. Keep the paper shuffling to a minimum; put a premium on getting quality products out the door.
3. You can’t get your accounting firm to return your calls. Make sure your finances are in order and maintained by trustworthy people. If you don’t, the Securities and Exchange Commission may come a-knockin’.
2. The chairman tells you it’s OK to attend the board meeting by phone. You’re more likely to win the lottery and hit the trifecta in the Kentucky Derby in the same year than you are to succeed if you don’t have the board of director’s backing.
1. You win “CEO of the Year.” Like gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, the curse of this award cannot be underestimated.
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